Since the early 1990s, Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio) has produced a complex and sometimes controversial body of photographic work, adopting such diverse genres as studio portraiture, landscape photography, and urban street photography to explore notions of communal, sexual, and cultural identity.
Opie's interest in community has led her to document different suburban and urban environments in America, from the elaborate facades of Beverly Hills homes, to the rural signage and storefronts that peopled her cross-country treks. Her blended style of formal documentary and her conceptual investigation into community lends a quasi anthropological feel to her work that has drawn from avant-queer culture to the makeshift dwellings of icehouse fishermen.
Opie's early portraits of homosexual subcultures, for example, can be viewed as not only an expression of her intolerance of homophobia but also as a manifestation of an affirmative and even tender portrayal of a subculture often rendered invisible by dominant cultural norms. Catherine Opie: American Photographer gathers together significant examples from several of Opie’s important series in a major mid-career survey.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Web Site